RENO — For the final act in a remarkable college bowling career, Perry Crowell IV narrowly fell shy of his ultimate goal.
The Hoquiam High School and Grays Harbor College graduate finished second in the Intercollegiate Singles Championship that concluded Friday at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.
A senior at Midland University in Nebraska, Crowell lost to Wichita State’s Francois Lavoie, 217-188, in the TV-style championship match.
He had earlier advanced to the title match with a 202-189 win over top-seeded Christopher Via of Notre Dame of Ohio.
Crowell, who had recently been selected as the NAIA Player of the Year, was upbeat about his showing.
“It was a great experience,” he said in a telephone interview Friday night.
“This year has been remarkable, more than I ever expected from a team aspect and a personal aspect,” Crowell said. “I always had the goal of being the Player of the Year. To have that come through is unbelievable.”
He also took pride in Midland’s team accomplishments. The Warriors qualified for the Intercollegiate Team Championships, which encompasses both NAIA and NCAA schools.
Crowell came from behind in his semifinal match against Via. Taking advantage of an open frame by his top-seeded opponent, he strung together three consecutive strikes in the eighth through 10th frames to shut out Via.
Lavoie, however, led most of the way in the title match.
The 22-year-old Crowell was energized by the large crowds and the television cameras for the semifinal and final matches. His final two matches will be telecast on a delayed basis May 13 (tentatively scheduled for 5 p.m.) on the CBS Sports Network.
“It was one of the most memorable experiences ever,” Crowell said. “(Having) more than half of the crowd on my side made it that much sweeter.”
Admittedly nervous in the stadium setting, Crowell opened qualifying with a 137 game. He was, however, already seeded into the 24-man match play bracket and used the remainder of the qualifying round to work on his game and the proper angles.
“I got the nerves out of the way and I started settling in on my game,” he said.
Qualifying 12th, he averaged 231 in bracket play and won three consecutive three-game matches to advance to the TV-style semis.
Crowell is scheduled to graduate next month with a degree in Sports Management with the goal of becoming a coach or athletic administrator.
While he doubts he will turn professional (“Right now, it’s really hard to make a living on tour,” he said), he will continue to compete as an amateur.
He has, in fact, entered a Professional Bowlers Association regional tournament next month in Sioux Falls, S.D.